Reviewed by MJBrady on 23 Jul 2002
Vinyl Confessions can be dubbed the Christian Era of Kansas. Always a band that had philosophical, and insightful lyrics that were both socially conscientious, and morally bound. They stepped more into a convicted Christian lyrical setting on this album, as well as the album that followed this, Drastic Measures. Gone is keyboardist/lead vocalist - Steve Walsh, the bands longtime frontman, also a huge voice in the band vocally and from an instrumentation aspect. Now many wondered how such a radical line-up change would affect the bands sound as well as success. Well the changes certainly didn't keep this one off the airwaves as Play the Game was a huge hit for them. But the longtime fans that came to know Kansas for their progressive output would now wonder if the band had turned completely towards the arena rock style that showed on some of Audio Visions, and furthur away from progrock. Surprisingly the new vocalist, Dino Elefante had a certain likeness to Walsh, both are powerful mid ranged singers, that are able to reach difficult notes with ease. At times I am easily fooled to think in fact that Walsh is still singing. Looking at the personnel line up showed a lot of 'outside' help on the performance and production of this album, making it look more like studio project than a band gig. The music still has a lot of the Kansas appeal, as Livgren's presence proves to be a key element in what makes the band, what it is. This is a good album, but doesn't represent the essential material by the band when referencing as a progressive rock band. Livgren seemed destined to become an evangelist through his gift of music, and continued this trend on Vinyl Confession as well as with his band AD. The songsWindows & Crossfire are highlights on this album, and could have easily fit on any Kansas album.